PXP Energy Corp. And its subsidiary forum (GSEC 101) Ltd. has suspended activities for two petroleum exploration service contracts directed by the Department of Energy until it issues the “clearance required to proceed”.
In a statement Monday, PXP said “this is the first time” that the company, with the forum, had learned about the need for clearance from the Security, Justice and Peace Coordination Cluster (SJPCC) before accepting work obligations.
PXP is the operator under Service Contract (SC) 75 and Forum is the operator under SC 72.
The SJPCC consists of the Office of the President’s Adviser on the Peace Process, including the Department of Internal and Local Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of National Defense, the Department of Justice, and the Secretariat of the National Security Council.
SC 75 was awarded by DoE on December 27, 2013 and covers an area of 6,160 sq km in the offshore Northwest Palawan Basin.
On September 9, 2015, the department authorized the use of SC 75’s work commitments to take effect in December of that year until the DoE notified PXP to resume its petroleum exploration-related activities.
Within Recto Bank, SC 72 is a discount acquired by the Forum, which became its operator in April 2005. It is located in the western Philippine Sea, west of the island of Paloan, and southwest of the Malampaya gas field. Sampaguita plans to dig two wells in the field after the Forum Force Maj.
Force Magio was lifted by the DoE on October 14, 2020.
In a statement, PXP said it had received instructions from the DOE on April 6 to suspend search operations.
“PXP and the Forum, however, considered the suspension to be temporary,” he said, adding that the DOE has been interested in conducting search operations since the removal of Force Mejur.
It added that both operators have been closely coordinating with the DoE on planned search activities, which are part of their respective work obligations under SC 75 and SC 72.
PXP said the companies and the forum, through their letter dated April 8, expressed their desire to resume operations immediately and after April 11. But if they do not receive a written confirmation from the DoE by April 10 that they may resume their activities in April. 11 Lastly, they will consider the work suspension order issued by the DoE to be “indefinite”.
It said a Force Majeure event would “give them the right to be pardoned for discharging their respective responsibilities and for extending the search period under SC 75 and SC 72.”
It said PXP and Forum had not received advice from the DOE that they could resume their search activities, requesting the cancellation of all supply and service contracts to comply with their work obligations.
PXP added that the decision was aimed at “reducing the damage that could result from an indefinite suspension of exploration activities.”
SC 75 of PXP has 50% interest. Forum Energy Ltd., where PXP has 79.13% direct and indirect interest, has 70% participant interest through SC 72’s wholly owned subsidiary forum. The total economic interest of PXP in SC 72 is 54.36%.
On Monday, PXP shares in local stocks closed five cents or 0.92% lower at P5.40. – Ram Christian S. Augustine